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Bowed tendon on a jumper prospect?

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  • Bowed tendon on a jumper prospect?

    Have a friend who is looking and came across a gorgeous, well-minded tb gelding for sale for the price of back board.

    He bowed a tendon, was retired from the track, has been rehabbed, and been nothing but a pasture puff the past 6 months. Vet has declared him sound for all disciplines except racing.

    I, for one, have always been told that a bowed tendon is an automatic disqualification for a jumper prospect - thought chance of reinjury was higher, bowed tendon is somewhat indicative of weakness in confirmation, etc.

    I polled a few people I know and got mixed responses.

    Thoughts and experiences?

  • #2
    My vet has never said no jumping for a horse with a bowed tendon unless it wasn't rehabbed correctly. In fact, his wife competes a horse that has two bowed tendons at Advanced. I personally wouldn't say no to a horse with a bowed tendon but that's just me. If he's a resale project then it will be harder to sell him since opinions vary about it. If the friend likes him, works well with him then I say go for it!

    I had a gelding with a prominent bowed tendon and my vet cleared him for anything...but then we found the kissing spine *sigh*.

    Comment


    • #3
      Dang, someone better tell Nikki she can't do the jumpers anymore...

      I'd be a little more confident in the bow if the horse was working now, but I don't think a bow is an automatic out (at all). I think it depends on how the bow set, among other things.
      http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
      Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks for the info guys.

        The girl who is looking just retired her older gelding. She is looking for something that she could bring along to do level 4/5 with.

        This wouldn't be a resale project, and it would be her only horse, so if something went wrong she would be devastated.

        Obviously, you are never safe from surprise till you're dead, but it would be hard to encourage her to walk into something that already has a strike against it.

        Shorty - did your mare bow tendon before you got her? If not, how did you rehab her? Anything special/different you do for her that you wouldn't do for another horse?

        Comment


        • #5
          I bought an ottb that had just rehabbed from a bowed tendon. He went on to do 4' jumps with no problems. Never had a lame step. I ended up selling him completely sound as a 17 year old.
          “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
          ¯ Oscar Wilde

          Comment


          • #6
            I have a 7 yo OTTB gelding with a left front bow. He's hunted 1st flight for a year, and was a whipper in's horse for a year. I've had him since December, hunting, pairs racing and ring work, with jumping. Sound.

            You know that Rodney Jenkins video for selecting hunters/jumpers? He said he wouldn't walk away from a bow...

            PPE and an ultrasound of the bow may alleviate some concerns for your friend though, although I did neither, and bought the horse on his accomplishments and history of soundness.

            Comment


            • #7
              There are bows and then there are bows... but it sounds like this one isn't one of those full blown bows since the horse has been cleared for everything but racing. A bow is one of those things where I think I'd think long and hard if I was planning on taking the horse to the highest level of the sport... But since that eliminates 99% of the riders and horses on this planet, then I wouldn't worry too much about it.

              The retired 19 year old in my profile pic is still going strong out on the rather steep trails here in N.GA. He might not be the soundest thing on the planet, but I can promise you that in the 15 years I have owned him, his fresh to set to nearly forgotten bow has been the one thing that has never given me so much as a minute of worry.
              Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hard to say...I know everybody always comes on and cites this or that example BUT...

                This TB your friend is looking at? What's the whole story here? How long did he race? Get somebody to pull his race record, go over to the Racing forum and ask them-they need his registered name or tatoo#. That record of starts can tell you if he did train and race soundly at regular intervals or reveal numerous gaps indicating lay up time-which means he was not sound. Can even show no starts at all which means he never even made it that far.

                Doesn't matter how he did in those races, you are looking for a regular work schedual over an extended period of time with no gaps. That can hint and overall soundness and durability.

                An otherwise sound horse in regular work that suffers a bow unrelated to any conformation defects could be worth taking a chance on. But one that has been on and off in race training will likely be on and off in a regular training program up to the level 5 Jumpers.

                Tell friend to research that and get an ultrasound. Something tells me that the vet who pronounced him "sound for all disciplines except racing" didn't do any ultrasounds recently if the owners weren't paying the board.

                Like RJ said, don't walk away from a bow. But don't walk into one blind either. Lots of sellers don't really know what the whole story is, just repeat what they were told.
                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by supershorty628 View Post
                  I'd be a little more confident in the bow if the horse was working now, but I don't think a bow is an automatic out (at all). I think it depends on how the bow set, among other things.
                  This ^ If the horse is nice and is suitable, I might US the leg in question but I would not necessarily be overly concerned, especially if the horse is not intended as, say, a GP prospect or something.

                  My experience with bows has dictated that unless the bow was absurdly severe, that the horse could recover to even race again (even with minimal rehabbing - I'm talking say 2 weeks stall rest without leaving the track, and returning to training afterwards), though I personally think you're pushing your luck to actually race (and with such minimal rehab). But to jump or perform in another discipline (esp not at the top levels)? I'd go for it without hardly a thought.

                  ETA: I would not rely on race records all too much. They might hint at something, but they might not. Gaps in a training schedule may just indicate owner change, lack of funds, different seasons, horse seemed tired or just NQR, horse had ringworm, no races available on that track for that horse, some injury such as bruised heels or a handful of serious cuts that later healed, trainer decided it best to just turn the horse out for a bit... the list is endless.

                  An experienced groom who's seen bows and saw this horse's bow at the time would tell you more than race records would.

                  On the other hand, I am generally more comfortable with a horse who has had, for example, say 20 starts and finally retired with an injury after being run every week for a month or two, as opposed to a horse with say only 5 starts who ran once a month prior to his injury.

                  So while race records can be indicative, they are definitely not conclusive and I would definitely not automatically attribute a lay-up to an injury.

                  If you're really concerned and there is a substantial thickening, get US's - they're actually fairly affordable (at least in my area).
                  Last edited by naturalequus; Mar. 17, 2011, 10:58 AM.
                  ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                  ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks, findeight - very helpful.

                    I don't have his registery info. I was told that he raced a bunch and won a ton of $, but I haven't had a chance to look at the race history.

                    She would prepurchase any horse she is interested in. Just trying to figure out if he was even worth entertaining.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It should be easy to find them once your friend gets his info. Won't cost a thing except 5 minutes to post his info over on Racing.

                      And, please, do that research. If it's true, he is probably worth taking a chance on, horses that stay sound in racing are sound horses and the bow is probably minor. Just make sure it is true, you never know. Sometimes the seller really doesn't know either, just repeating what they were told.
                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would want to have an US done.

                        I had a friend who was eventing a horse that had a fully rehabbed bow. The horse took a bad step and rebowed on course, becoming a permanent pasture ornament.

                        I agree that there are bows . . . and there are bows. There's also a difference between jumping in a ring and galloping xc jumping prelim fences.
                        Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                        EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          I hear you on the US.

                          Even if the US shows a healed bow, is there any way to know if it would be an issue again in the future?
                          (besides revving up the 'ole crystal ball?)

                          Just curious - did the friend with the eventer do an US with a PPE?

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by findeight View Post
                            It should be easy to find them once your friend gets his info. Won't cost a thing except 5 minutes to post his info over on Racing.

                            And, please, do that research. If it's true, he is probably worth taking a chance on, horses that stay sound in racing are sound horses and the bow is probably minor. Just make sure it is true, you never know. Sometimes the seller really doesn't know either, just repeating what they were told.
                            Since venturing into OTTB land I've figured out how to look up racing history. It's actually kinda fun.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I had a horse with double bows on both front legs..they were old by the time he came to my barn and he had legs of steel.

                              So depends on te bow.. is it a low partial ? that would make me look at it real hard and even US if I liked the horse enough. Also 6 months ? want what rehab did they do? doesn't seem long enough but again depends on the extent of the bow. A high bow I would also ultrasound the check ligament, if that's involved it takes a while to heal unless you spend the $$ on shockwave.

                              good luck on your shopping
                              "The Desire to Win is worthless without the Desire to Prepare"

                              It's a "KILT". If I wore something underneath, it would be a "SKIRT".

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Burgie View Post
                                Shorty - did your mare bow tendon before you got her? If not, how did you rehab her? Anything special/different you do for her that you wouldn't do for another horse?
                                She bowed it in training on the track, so that was way before I got her. The only thing that I do differently with her is that I get her the soft neoprene boots in front; the Eskadrons and other more fitted boots are too hard and stiff right over the bow.
                                http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
                                Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Burgie View Post
                                  I hear you on the US.

                                  Even if the US shows a healed bow, is there any way to know if it would be an issue again in the future?
                                  (besides revving up the 'ole crystal ball?)
                                  Remember that a "bow" is really not a bow at all, that's just the visable sign of damage and full recovery with little chance of reoccurance depends on where it is and specifically what that damage involved. Rehab can be 6 months or it can be a year or more...and I think we'd all like him better of he had resumed normal work instead of just sitting since the injury.

                                  So it all depends on the details. Something the race record and a good ultrasound and PPE can provide.
                                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    No, my friend was loaned this horse by its owner. The horse was a successful upper level event horse that had bowed. He was rehabbed, brought back slowly, then bowed on course at his first prelim.
                                    Originally posted by Burgie View Post

                                    Just curious - did the friend with the eventer do an US with a PPE?
                                    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Not to be a buzz kill, but Tendonitis on a race horse can be caused by a number of factors, and their racing record prior to the injury may not be a great indicator of how they will come back from it.

                                      In my experience the majority of bows come from factors other than conformation; toe-grabs, bad surfaces, bad trimming and shoeing, and poor conditioning. All issues that could end a horses racing career day one or day seven hundred and seventy-seven. The conformation flaws that generally cause tendon problems are pretty obvious and most racing prospects get culled for them.

                                      I am not sure what ultrasound will reveal after the injury has healed outside of what you already know... it was bad enough that a vet reccomended no more racing, and no vet can guarantee soundness.

                                      I think it is important to remember that tendonitis is an intensity injury, and top on the list of intensity are galloping and jumping. It is also important to consider the fact that tendonitis described as a bow means that the tendon was severly compromised, or there would be no bow, minor tears and pin holes etc. rarely show externally.

                                      Now this does not mean horses don't come back from bows many, race horses run with old bows, some even re-bow, and come back again. Snowbound was a example of a GP horse that had tendon problems and he did pretty darn well before the injury caught up with him, and of course there are a zillion others who have had great careers at different levels with tendon issues.

                                      I personally would never look past a horse with a bow, but there would be a lot of risk assesement involved, and I would take it day by day and count each sound day as a blessing.

                                      Comment

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